Rincón is host to some of the best beaches and attractions in Puerto Rico, ranging from Sand bottom beaches and kid friendly tide pools to world class snorkeling and surfing.
Below is a list of some of our favorite places in Rincón and a map of where to find them.
Known for being one of the only sand bottom beaches in the area, Sandy Beach is our favorite beach (it has nothing to do with the fact that it's located right in front of the Puntas Tree House). Sandy Beach is also home to the Tamboo, Beside the Pointe, voted one of the best bars in America by Esquire.
One of the most recognized names in Rincon - Domes Beach is named for the dome of the old nuclear plant on one of the most famous surfing beaches in the world. The dome is being converted into a Science Center and Museum
This is Rincon's 'secret beach' that you can only reach by hiking from Domes Beach on the 'Domes Trail'. Located at the very corner of Rincon - you'll see both the Atlantic and Caribbean as you pass the area known as 'Trampa de Tiburon'. Its also one of the best Surf Breaks.
Rincón Light House
Rincón Lighthouse & Park: You can't visit Rincon without at least one visit to the Punta Higuero Lighthouse and El Faro Park. During the winter season you can watch surfers and whales from the walk that runs along the top of the cliffs. There are no real beaches that are accessible to the public, but you get great views of Domes Beach to the right and Indicators Beach to the left as you look out toward Desecheo Island.
Just below the lighthouse is one of the most famous surfing breaks in Rincon - known as "Deadman's" for the nasty rocks jutting out from the cliffs which mean trouble if a wave brings you in that direction. You can see it if you look right down from Lighthouse Park for the rock that looks like Christopher Columbus's head. No matter what time of year you visit, this is a great photo opportunity and a chance to visit the shop, snack bar or use the public rest facilities. Plenty of parking and interesting information about this historic lighthouse on the location where Columbus set foot as the first tourist to Rincon!
During the 'season' this is the center of surfing activity in Rincon. Look for the whale-shaped beach sign on your way to the Lighthouse Park and pull into the parking lot next to the Calypso Cafe, a great place to check out the scene.
This is where the waves kick up and provide some of the most exciting surfing in the Caribbean! Make sure you grap a photo in front of the surfer crossing sign
Steps Beach & Tres Palmas Marine Reserve
This is another legendary surfing beach which got its name from the set of steps that clings to the beach. In surfing terms - Steps is the 'inside surf break' and Tres Palmas is the 'outside surf break' - so you'll hear this beach referred to by both names.
To get to Steps Beach you have to look carefully for the whale-shaped sign that is only visible as you are driving from downtown toward the Lighthouse. To make it a bit of a challenge for visitors - the name of the beach is on the sign in Spanish as 'Playa Escalera'. If you are driving on Route #413 toward downtown, you'll have to look for the driveway that leads from Route #413 down to the beach (see the photo of the palm trees in the distance to give you an idea of the area and distance to the beach).
Steps Beach is too rough for swimming during surfing season - but becomes very calm during the 'off-season' and is a favorite spot for snorkeling since it is the site of the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve. At the end of the driveway, you'll find this sign which will help you identify some of the marine life you may find as you discover the underwater world on our Sunset Coast!
The Black Eagle Marina
A long time hub of all of Rincon’s watersport activities. Here you can depart for a variety of deep sea trips, including fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, flying fish parasail, sailing charters and sailing lessons. Just down the beach rent sea kayaks, standup paddleboards at Rincon Paddle Boards and more. Bordered by the surrounding neighborhood of Ensenada, heading towards Steps Beach and Tres Palmas, the Marina started as a watersports hub and has added some of the best and most popular dining options in Rincon. Check out La Copa Llena for beachfront fine dining, grab a casual beer at Club Nautico or fresh fish at Shipwreck Bar and Grill. The patch of sand near the dock is a favorite for local families with the calm waters and small bay being great for kids. Any weekend you’ll find a great group of locals enjoy the beach under the sun while the kids frolic in the waves.
Desecheo Island (national wildlife refuge)
Isla Desecheo (Desecheo National Wildlife Refuge) is an uninhabited island located just 13 miles off the west coast of Puerto Rico. You can’t walk on the island, it’s off limits, but you can book a tour to scuba dive the deep clear waters of the island walls. Isla Desecheo and it’s sister island of Isla de Mona offer the best scuba diving in Puerto Rico. Desecheo is a wildlife refuge managed by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Refuge, responsible for managing, conserving and protecting the island.
A Little History
Desecheo is part of the Rio Culebrinas formation which suggests that it was once connected to Puerto Rico.
During the 18th century the island was used by smugglers and pirates. During the World War II until 1952 the island was used by the Army as a test bombing range. From 1952 to 1964 the US Air Force was used for survival training. In 1983 Isla Desecheo was designated as a National Wildlife Refuge and it is currently under the protection of US Fish & Wildlife.
Cueva Ventana "Window Cave"
Cueva Ventana (English: "Window Cave") is a large cave situated a top a limestone cliff in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, overlooking the Río Grande de Arecibo valley. It is visible from the PR-123 but is accessible from a trail that begins adjacent to a Puma gas station located along PR-10 on kilometer 75.
The cave is a popular tourist attraction to Puerto Ricans as well as tourists visiting from outside Puerto Rico. An initial admittance fee, was established by the owner of the gas station to enter the trail to the cave on Saturdays and Sundays due to its popularity. The number of visitors is at its most popular on both Saturdays and Sundays from early morning to an hour before nightfall. On January 2013, the admission fee was established daily and later raised the following month. A boardwalk project was constructed from the gas station leading up to around 200 feet into the trail, as well as a small parking lot atop a plateau behind the gas station. After a rise in popularity and visits, different admission fees were established for certain days of the week, providing necessary safety equipment for the 45-minute guided tour. The number of visitors is greatest on both Saturdays and Sundays from early morning to an hour before nightfall. Nightly tours are also offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays.